TiVo reportedly in merger talks with Rovi

TiVo and Rovi are reportedly in advanced negotiations to merge in a deal that would see Rovi buy the DVR specialist for a yet to be determined price, according to the New York Times.

TiVo shareholders would receive a combination of cash and stock, amounting to about 30 percent ownership of the combined company.

Both TiVo and Rovi declined to comment on the report.

As the Times points out, Rovi's pursuit of TiVo could be a direct result of activist investor Glenn Welling's intervention, which began with a proxy fight in 2015 and culminated in Welling's Engaged Capital scoring two seats on Rovi's board.

"All five of the company's independent directors have been on the board since the formation of today's Rovi through the merger of Macrovision and Gemstar in May of 2008," read a letter sent last year from Engaged Capital to Rovi's board. "During the seven years since the merger announcement, shareholder returns have been negative. Change is clearly needed."

TiVo has remained independent for many years but has time and again surfaced as a potential acquisition target for multiple companies, including set-top giants Arris and Technicolor.

The merger talks come as TiVo continues to add MSO subscribers, bringing in another 318,000 in the fourth quarter. At the same time, in order to better focus on extending those MSO partnerships, TiVo recently cut 50 jobs.

TiVo stocks have jumped more than 20 percent since reports broke about the possible merger with Rovi.

Meanwhile Rovi, which licenses a number of programming guide patents to various pay-TV providers, saw its shares jump after reporting an 11 percent increase in fourth quarter revenues.

For more:
- read this New York Times article
- read this Light Reading article

Related articles:
TiVo adds another 318K MSO subs in Q4; calls its set-top reform goals 'mischaracterized'
TiVo cutting 50 jobs as part of refocus on MSO partner growth
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